MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — A Twin Cities football league will no longer play in Minneapolis this season after a teenager was shot Tuesday night while watching a youth game.
John Swanson, the commissioner of the Twin Cities North Football League, said the decision not to play in Minneapolis after Tuesday night was a “no brainer.” He described playing in the city as a liability for safety and scheduling reasons. He added that referees and “a lot of teams” also don’t want to play in the city due to safety concerns.
The shooting Tuesday left a 15-year-old boy in critical condition. The teenager was watching his younger sibling play in a game between fourth-graders from Minneapolis and Brooklyn Center. According to Swanson, the boy was a victim of a “random armed robbery.”
Police say they were called to a shooting near Phelps Field, which is located in the Bryant neighborhood on the city’s south side. Officers found the teenager with a gunshot wound in his abdomen. Emergency crews rushed him to Hennepin Healthcare for treatment.
The decision to move games out of Minneapolis means that about six league games will be relocated to nearby high school fields. According to Swanson, high school fields offer more separation and safety than city parks.
It’s yet to be determined if this no-games-in-Minneapolis policy will continue next season.